Pills made from faecal matter - or 'poop pills' as they are more affectionately known - are successfully treating patients with a deadly disease, according to a Canadian doctor.
The serious illness clostridium difficile - or C. difficile - causes nausea, cramping and diarrohea, killing as many as 14,000 Americans per year.
But if the thought of popping pills made from poo makes you feel a bit nauseous, you're not alone.
Lead study author Thomas Louie, a professor of medicine at the University of Calgary in Canada says: "I think in some ways the 'ick' factor is something we got out of the schoolyard. It's really quite primordial, but we just need to get over it."
What do you think?
BEST: Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are great for digestion because most are high in fiber, King says. Bechtold adds that the fiber in produce has an added benefit of regulating bowel movements.
BEST: Whole Grains
Whole grain foods, including brown rice and wheat, also contain lots of fiber, making them another top food group good for digestion, King says. (Obviously this advice may not apply for people with chronic conditions like celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities, since wheat contains gluten.)
While all fruits and vegetables are generally good for digestion, bananas in particular are great because they don't irritate the stomach. That's why they're part of the "BRAT Diet" for vomiting or diarrhea -- that is, the bananas, rice, applesauce and dry toast diet. "Those are the four things that tend to be the easiest tolerated amongst people and they tend to be bland, so they won't irritate the stomach like other foods," King says. They are also good for replacing the body's electrolytes, she adds.
"Water is excellent for digestion, and that's one thing I think people don't drink enough of," King says. Water helps the digestive process because it helps move things through the intestines.
Spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric and peppermint are great for settling an upset stomach, King says. Try drinking ginger or peppermint tea, or sucking on a peppermint lozenge.
BEST: Probiotic-Containing Foods Like Yogurt
Probiotics are good for the digestive system because they contain good bacteria that crowds out any bad bacteria that you may have in your gut, King says. You want to look specifically for foods that contain <em>live</em> bacteria, such as yogurt and kefir.
BEST: Prebiotic-Containing Foods Like Asparagus And Oats
Prebiotic foods contain a type of fiber the <em>probiotics</em> feed off of to multiply, "so it’s good food for your good bacteria," King says. Prebiotics are found in foods such as asparagus, onions, lentils and whole grains.
WORST: Spicy Foods
Spicy foods can be bad for digestion because they may trigger acid reflux symptoms for some people, King notes.
Similarly to spicy foods, those containing caffeine can also trigger acid reflux, as it relaxes the esophageal sphincter -- the flap that keeps what you've eaten down in your stomach -- causing food to come back up into the esophagus, King says. What about coffee, which is high in caffeine yet always seems to help us "go?" King says coffee is powerful for triggering peristalsis -- the term for movement of food through the intestines -- it does contain caffeine, which means it can still cause reflux. But it could help someone who is struggling with constipation, she notes.
WORST: Acidic Foods Like Soda
Like spicy and caffeinated foods, acidic picks like soda can also trigger reflux, King says.
WORST: Foods High In Saturated Fat
Fatty foods can induce heartburn and diarrhea due to poor absorption of fat, Bechtold says. King adds that you can tell if your diet contains too many high-fat foods because your stool will float to the top of the toilet. This is a sign that you might want to cut back on the saturated fat.
Alcohol also relaxes the esophageal sphincter, which can then trigger acid reflux, King says. Bechtold adds that it can induce inflammation in the stomach.
Dairy can induce bloating, Bechtold says, as well as abdominal discomfort, particularly for people who are lactose intolerant.
How to Understand Basic Digestion
In this health video you will learn how to understand basic digestion.